Britney Spears has had quite the year.
“It’s a really long time to be in a situation you don’t want to be in,” she told fans in a video posted last month. “So I’m just grateful, honestly, for each day to have the keys to be car and to be independent and feel like a woman. … Hopefully my story will make an impact and make some changes in the corrupt system.”
In February, the documentary “Framing Britney Spears” dove into the singer’s battle to regain control of her life, and prompted pop culture fans to reconcile with the past public mistreatment of Spears and other stars.
Another two documentaries, “Controlling Britney Spears” and “Britney vs. Spears” followed in September. Though Spears voiced disdain for the documentaries (“Why highlight the most negative and traumatizing times in my life from forever ago ????” she wrote in May), they nonetheless helped spread the word about her conservatorship and launch the Free Britney campaign to new heights.
“My voice was muted and threatened for so long. I wasn’t able to speak up or say anything,” she said to Free Britney supporters in a Nov. 16 video. “I honestly think you guys saved my life.”
Through it all, she’s kept fans updated on social media. Instagram, in particular, has been an outlet for Spears to authentically voice her feelings through a time when she did not have complete control over her life or public perception. She shared dancing videos, inspirational graphics and long-winded rants with copious amounts of punctuation to share her thoughts on the conservatorship and tabloid attention.
The conservatorship battle raged on through much of 2021, with ugly back-and-forths between Spears and her father, Jamie Spears, who formerly held the role of co-conservator, and subtle digs taken online at other family members who the singer felt didn’t show her support when she needed it.
That isn’t to say it’s all smooth sailing for the pop icon moving forward. As she irons out what life post-conservatorship will look like, Spears has documented some of the hardships – namely, fallout with her family over the conservatorship and unrelenting paparazzi attention.
“Paps took pics of me coming out of a public bathroom,” she shared Wednesday on Instagram. “I mean how embarrassing is that ????”
Still, her social media presence suggests she’s looking for the positives: “So right when I got home I had a PFC … it means ‘party for confidence,’ she continued Wednesday’s post. “I swear if you have confidence struggles or low self esteem and need to practice walking with your head held high and kinda hunched over … you must try it !!!!”
As Spears plans her next moves, she’s excited about the little things: using her own ATM card, being able to buy her own candles, traveling to celebrate the big 4-0 (Asghari shared videos to his Instagram story Wednesday showing off a rose-covered, B-shaped birthday cake for his fiancée). And the big life moments, like getting married, and potentially growing their family.
To borrow a line from the princess of pop herself, Spears’ future is looking stronger than yesterday.